Dear Dr. Wallace:
Megan has been my best friend for many years. We are seniors in high school and will be attending the same university in September. She had been dating her boyfriend for over a year, but they broke up about a month ago because he said she was too bossy. He is now dating another girl, and this makes Megan very upset, especially because this girl and guy will both be attending the very same university in September also.
This guy is not my type, but we are friends. So now Megan wants me to call him and ask him out.
She said she’d rather have him go out with me than the girl he is now dating. Somehow, she thinks she could get him back if he was dating me. I think he would probably go out with me, but I’m not sure I want to get involved in all of this. It just seems weird and feels funky.
What do you think I should do?
— Unsure Friend, Nashville, Tennessee
Dear Unsure Friend: Megan’s scheme sounds like another example of why her guy broke up with her. When bossy people don’t get their way with the direct approach, they often can become manipulative. She’s still trying to control his life via this dating scheme she has cooked up and is trying to involve you in it.
You are correct to be hesitant about becoming involved with Megan’s plan. It is dishonest, and the results could be unpleasant for everyone. Don’t do it. I doubt there is any hope for the two of them to get back together, but if they do, it will have to be without trickery — especially on your part!
Dear Dr. Wallace: I’m 14, and my older sister is 16. She is very bright and always gets excellent grades. My grades are always just average or slightly above. This means that I’m put on restriction often and denied going to afterschool functions because I “need to get more study time,” according to Mom and Dad. But even though I study a lot, I wind up with C’s and the occasional B. During winter break, my mother wouldn’t let me attend my best friend’s Christmas party because I’m getting a C in English, instead of a B.
Because of her good grades, my sister gets to go anywhere and do anything she wants. I do love my sister, but we have different interests. She is active in most school activities, and all I’m interested in is sports. I’m a very good pitcher in softball, and I start as guard for the girls basketball team. Please tell me what I can do to get my parents to treat me more fairly. I’m trying the best I can in school, but my grades can’t match those of my sister no matter how many hours I study.
— Second to Sis,
Dear Second To Sis: Not all siblings have the same capacity to get excellent grades.
Speak with your school counselor and administrator and share your dilemma. These professionals will understand. I suggest your parents meet with one or both of these educators who will enlighten them to the fact that punishing you for doing your very best in school is not the best way to encourage you to enjoy it or be viewed as an important family member.